Ngorongoro Highlands, Lake Natron and Lengai
- 12-days trekking and wildlife safari to the Ngorongoro Highlands and the Rift Valley, Tanzania -
Dauer: 10 days (suggested)
Reisetermine:Individuelle Termine möglich
zur Zeit keine Termine
Preis (p.P.): from 2590 EUR
Im Preis enthalten:
12-days: Ngorongoro Highlands - Lake Natron - Lengai - Lake Manyara
This itinerary is a recommended example to truly enjoy what this remarkeable part of Tanzania has to offer. On request, modifications are possible, such as upgrade of accommodation (where available) to lodges.
Tag 1: Arrival / transfer to Arusha
Ü: hotel (upper mid-range) in Arusha (D)
Tag 2: Arusha - Lake Manyara - Ngorongoro Highlands
Lake Manyara, located at the bottom of this rift, is fed by water from the highlands above. We enter the lush park - a kingdom of undisturbed forest with giant fig trees, tamarind, mahogany and albezia. The Park offers enormous topographical variety and abundant wildlife: monkeys, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, ostrich, elephant, hippos, bushbuck, aardvarks and the occasional leopard, while the lake attracts over 380 species of birds such as flamingoes, pelicans, storks, cormorants, Egyptian geese, and spur-winged geese.monekys while elephants can often be seen on the slopes of the escarpment amongst the baobab trees.
We have a picnic lunch in the park, then in the mid afternoon we depart into the Ngorongoro Highlands. The landscape changes dramatically to one of fertile wooded hills and farms. After 1 hour we reach the the entry to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The paved road ends and we proceed toward the crater, into a lush and verdant rainforest. After 30 minutes we reach the rim of the crater and gape down onto the vast crater floor below. The sight of it is unforgettable.
Ü: campsite (or lodge) near the rim of Ngorongoro crater. (B, L, D)
Tag 3: Morning game drive in Ngorongoro - hike to Olmoti volcano
We start early to watch the sunrise into Ngorongoro crater. We proceed onto the crater floor (1 hr drive) for a second game viewing drive with picnic lunches.
After lunch, we drive to Olmoti volcano (ca. 1.5 - 2 hr) and hike to the crater rim, to peer out over the grassy plains of crater floor. Here you’ll find herds of shy eland, along with gazelles and zebras interspersed with Maassai cattle. We hike down to waterfalls at the inner crater, and back to find dinner ready and our camp set up.
Ü: campsite at Olmoti volcano (B, L, D)
Tag 4: Hike from Olmoti to Empakai
Today, we hike mostly through open grassland and the spectacular, vast Embulbul depression bounded by geologically interesting fault scarps that divide the different volcanic massivs around us. We pass Maassai bomas, large Maassai herds of cattle, as well as zebras, gazelles and other animals.
By mid afternoon we suddenly arrive at the rim of Empakai crater, where breathtaking views onto its caldera lake from high above await us. During the day, thousands of flamingos are often present at the lake; from high above they are just tiny red dots. By the time we arrive at the campsite on the rim, the camp will be already set up (our vehicles can drive ahead).
Note: This is a long but very easy and scenic hike, but if you wish you can drive half way (or all) with the car (total walking distance ca. 20 km, ca. 6 hrs walking time.)
Ü: special campsite at Empakai (B, L, D)
Tag 5: Full day at Empakai crater
We have a full day to explore Empakai Crater. Following a narrow trail we descend on foot into the thickly forested Empakai Crater. As we descend through the vines and over roots, we get glimpses of the emerald green soda lake which covers about a quarter of the crater floor. The lake is a haven for flamingoes. We have a picnic lunch by the lakeside, and then hike around the lakeshore and back to camp (4-6 hours total).
Hot showers will be available, and then dinner, as we listen to the flamingoes pass overhead on their nightly journey toward Lake Natron. Oldonyo Lengai glows in the afternoon sun, poking its steep sloped top above the depths of the plains which surround its base well below the Rift Valley Escarpment, our next destination.
For the walk to Empakai Crater floor, carry your own picnic lunch box in your daypacks, to enjoy at the lakeside. This evening each person will need to prepare a “light” bag for the donkey trek portion of the next etappe.
Ü: as before (Empakai) (B, L, D)
Tag 6: Hike from Empakai crater to the Rift Valley rim
We depart from our camp around 10am. Donkeys will carry your light bag (for one night only), plus the sleeping bags and sleeping pads to the next campsite. The walk leads us upwards along the crater rim, then steeply downward steeply on a foot trail along a ridge looking out over the highlands to the north. The top of Ol Doinyo Lengai juts into the sky, its steep slopes piercing the horizon created by the highlands atop the Rift Valley Escarpment wall. Along the road we pass Maassai women walking to the crater rim with donkeys in search of long grass to cut for their cows, and for roofing for their bomas (huts). We walk down into the small village of Nayobi, a center of trading ‘center’ for the local community. We continue on a cattle trail downward into scrub-woodland and groves of yellow barked Acacia (Fever Trees).
The private campsite is set under yellow-barked acacia trees, with a stunning view of the top of Lengai. You arrive at about 3pm to the campsite for snacks and drinks. The Maasai trekking guide carries a VHF hand-held radio for emergency contact uses. You will carry your own picnic lunch box in your daypacks, to eat en route.
Ü: Acacia special campsite at Rift Valley escarpment (B, L, D)
Tag 7: Hike into the Rift Valley, base of Ol Doinyo Lengai mountain
After breakfast, set off early, we continue our trek into the Rift Valley: First, we follow the edge of the escarpment wall. Lake Natron shimmers in front of us, while the massive stratovolcano Lengai is close by on our right, a deep chasm of air between the steep escarpment walls and the steep slopes of Lengai. The trail turns sharply downward along an ancient trading route to the foot of Lengai… (for centuries the Maasai on the lower plains have traded their goods with the Maasai in the highlands).
We stop midway along the trail to eat lunch in the shade of a canyon. The temperatures grow quite hot, and areas of shade are oases from the heat. Once we reach the base of the escarpment, we’ll be picked up and driven over to our camp (ca. 45 min drive).
1) You will carry your own picnic lunch box in your daypacks, to enjoy en route. You trek to the bottom of the escarpment, where at the pickup point, the passenger vehicle(s) will meet you and take you to the your private campsite.
2) At the Lake Natron campsite, you have the option to upgrade to stay in the luxurious tented lodges instead of the tent.
Ü: well-equipped, confortable campsite near Lake Natron or private tented lodges (B, L, D)
Tag 8-9: 2 full days at Lake Natron: waterfalls, the salt lake, Lengai volcano, Maassai etc
You have two full days to explore the exceptionally interesting area around Lake Natron: the lake itself area with its pink flamingoes and the salt flats. The theme here is definitely “pink”. In the heat of the afternoon we explore an area called ‘Engare Sero’, meaning “endless water” in the language of the Maasai. There is a clear, cool waterfall emanating from a fissure in the Rift Valley escarpment wall, and year-round river flows into the barren salt flats. We hike into the Engare Sero Gorge to the waterfall. where we can take a refreshing bath (water-shoes required, and swimsuits!).
Ü: as before (Lake Natron) (B, L, D)
Tag 10: Lake Manyara game drive
Ü: guesthouse or lodge at Lake Manyara Natl. Park (B, L, D)
Tag 11: Return to Arusha - night in Arusha
Transfer to Arusha (ca. 2 hrs), end of service
Ü: hotel (upper mid-range) in Arusha (B, L, D)
Tag 12: Departure or extension program
We bring you in time for your connection to the airport or the bus terminal, or to the starting point of your own extension.
Ü: none (B)